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The University has received the Bronze Award in the MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme and was presented with a certificate at the Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Symposium earlier this month.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The Scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Bronze Award holders pledge to support the armed forces, including existing or prospective employees who are members of the community; promote being armed forces-friendly and are open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners; and must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

The University is part of the Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership, which is a commitment by civilian organisations in collaboration with the MoD to support the Armed Forces community. It is an opportunity to recognise the value of serving personnel, both regulars and reservists, veterans and military families and their contribution to the UK. This is built on recognition that Armed Forces personnel sacrifice some significant civilian freedoms, face dangers and are much more likely to sustain injury or death. Families also play a pivotal role in supporting the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces and are embedded in the commitment.

The Covenant defines that those who serve in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved. This commitment includes voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces. 

The Cheshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership comprises Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Halton and Warrington Councils, the NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups, charities, the Department of Work and Pensions, the emergency services and the University of Chester.

The certificate was presented to Lottie Ainsworth-Moore, Project Administrator -  Veterans Studies by Colonel Russell Miller OBE; the Army Commander North West Region. Lottie’s husband is currently serving at Dale Barracks, and she is employed in the University’s Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans, which aims to support the Armed Forces community through research, educational provision and community engagement.

Colonel (Retd) Alan Finnegan, Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health at the University of Chester, who leads on veterans research, said: “The University employs many members of the Armed Forces community including veterans and their families, and within the Westminster Research Centre we are delighted to be making a positive contribution. We have a real passion for our work, and are now actively operating in conjunction with the MoD to obtain the Armed Forces Covenant employer recognition scheme Silver Award. ​“

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